Watch Your Language

November 10th, 2010

I was puzzled by the cover page of the July/August issue. The caption for the "Making It" article reads "Masumi Hayashi-Smith '10 will bring peace to the world," but my Brown education taught me better than to use such terminology about global public service. From the second that I stepped foot onto Brown's campus and was initiated into the UCAPP program, mentors at the Swearer Center opened my eyes to the invisible dangers that an outsider could "bring" to a community not his or her own. As a proud alumna of the development studies program, I learned to critique rhetoric like "bring peace to the world" for its naïvete and neocolonial implications.

Hayashi-Smith herself expressed in the article that she had concerns and qualms about the model of the program she was volunteering with in Sri Lanka. The BAM's cover line does not do justice to the degree of critical thought that Hayashi-Smith brings to her work abroad, and it undermines the exceptional perspectives on development and global partnerships that I hold dear to my Brown experience.

Caroline J. Mailloux '07

The writer is director of the nonprofit Global Health through Education, Training and Service (GHETS).

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November/December 2010